« Affair teacher awarded compo for 'psychological injury' | Main | Sport to assist in Indigenous education »

How classroom relationship affected the students

10 April 2004, 12:21 PM in Current Affairs

More information about how Jeffrey Sinclair's relationship with student Nicki Shackle affected the students in his classes. Students who were in his class at the time have told The Daily Telegraph how the flirting during class and his subsequent removal disrupted their learning and damaged their marks.

"I graduated from Baulkham Hills High School in the class of 2001 – no thanks to Jeff Sinclair. He was my Extension English 1 and 2 teacher and when he was pulled out of the school, myself and the entire grade suffered as a result."

"We were mucked around for most of the year and we didn't get our teacher back. It was a very tough year for everyone."

Another student describes Mr Sinclair's in-class behaviour.

"He'd get all nervous and sweaty and silly in front of us," one student recalled.

"And the fact that he was married at the time didn't sit well with the rest of the students.

"I sat through lesson after lesson watching them flirting."

This is an aspect of the issue that hasn't really been looked at yet. As I mentioned in the previous post, the declaration that the couple have made about them not having sex while she was a student is irrelevant. The behaviour of the teacher was totally inappropriate; it disrupted the student's learning and made them uncomfortable in the class. It's just not acceptable for a teacher to focus so much attention on one student to the detriment of all the others. Never mind the moral quagmire that Mr Sinclair has jumped into, it's simply inequitable.

When you become a teacher you agree to treat all your students equitably, without favouritism (as much as that is possible anyway). Jeffrey Sinclair has clearly not done this. Did he treat Nicki differently? Obviously he did. Did this mean that he would mark her easier than the other student's? Would he use his position do detriment other students who had offended Nicki? Would he use his position to influence how other teachers marked Nicki? We don't know, but these questions are the ones that are raised in this sort of situation, and it's exactly the reason why teachers are not allowed to have relationships with students, sexual or not.



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How classroom relationship affected the students:


The public reputation that Baulkham Hills cast for itself has been diminished and tarnished at the slimy decrepit hands of the reptilian Jeff Sinclair. You are a parasite on the buttocks of society and those who once pitied you for your lack of social skills and decorum now stand at the edge of the crowd to mock you

Posted by: david | May 11, 2004 7:26:35 PM

Sinnie was a dirtbag

Posted by: Ezza | Jun 26, 2007 8:52:36 AM

And exactly what makes you think you know anything about this situation Ezza? And as for the ludicrous comment made back in 2004 by "david", what in the heaven's name are you on about, whoever you are?

Both of you should consider reading Miller's "The Crucible" or perhaps Kafka's "The Trial". Perhaps then you might have a glimmer of understanding of what was done to a good man, myself (his wife) and our poor family by a truly sick girl (who we tried our best to help) and her despicable family. The NSW DET will assuredly, one day in the future, have to account for their atrocious contribution to such appalling outcomes (like driving a good man over the edge into mental breakdown compliments of a McCarthyist "investigation" of him amongst many shocking outcomes.) Stay tuned - my book will tell it like it really was.

Finally why don't you try considering how a "charming" Shackle who has "Bloom-ed" while the innocent people who tried to help her are left struggling to put the pieces of their lives back in place. Who would want to be a teacher these days? Good teachers are sitting ducks...

Posted by: Sabina Sinclair | Dec 30, 2007 1:16:29 AM

i notice that the first two comments were made by people who felt it not necessary to leave their email addresses. perhaps that says something about the validity of their "views"

Jeffrey Sinclair was my english and drama teacher from 1993 - 1996.

In all honesty i would never have survived high school and graduated without being in a classroom led by Jeffrey, and i know i am not alone in my views.

Sabina, i look forward to your writings.

Posted by: Lisa H | Oct 17, 2008 9:27:34 PM

Thank you Lisa for speaking the truth in relation to the sort of teacher my husband was. Sadly your teacher, Jeffrey had his life stolen from him because of vile lies written by a sick girl and a system that chose to believe those lies rather than look at the truth.

Lisa what has been done in the name of an "investigation" is truly abominable. A good man was crucified by a system and left for dead, while the catalyst for his destruction, an untterly narcistic creature now called Nicki Bloom, has become the latest "gift" to the Australian theatre world since conveniently marrying into the right theatre connections. Seems she's even written a play which deals with the grief a couple feel when their son mysteriously disappears. The level of this creature's vileness never ceases to amaze me. No doubt her talking to us about how it felt to have our son die was useful inspiration for her eventually writing her "hit" play "Tender" (shortlisted as it was for last year's NSW Premier's Literary awards.)

Thankfully there are indeed many people like you Lisa who care enough about a good teacher to defend him and display compassion for what he has been put through.

My book, by the way, is currently on hold while I'm busy having the NSW Department of Education account for their improprieties in relation to their dealings with this matter. When the time is right the book will be finished without doubt.

Thanks again for your comment Lisa and just so you know, Jeffrey and I are very much together again and safe from the likes of the Shackle/Blooms of this world. Hope life is treating you well.
Our best regards to you.

Posted by: Sabina Sinclair | Nov 2, 2008 12:23:21 AM

Hi Sabina,

I too, was one of Jeff's English students from Baulkham Hills High School. He taught me Year 11 Advanced English in the year 1999.

Please let him know he was the best English teacher I have ever had, and I still remember his enthusiasm and inspiring attitude towards this teachings and students.

I look forward to your book.

I wish you all the best


Posted by: David T | Nov 4, 2008 7:20:38 PM

Thanks for your comment David.

I think that a lot of people would've agreed with you about Jeffrey being one of their best teachers if they stopped to think about it.

And yes he was incredibly enthusiastic and definitely did try to inspire a love of literature in so many students - which is why it is such a pity that he's not in a postion to do so any longer. Mostly though I think Jeff genuinely cared about his students and their well being and was prepared to given them his time when it was needed. Sadly good teachers these days must first and foremost focus on protecting themselves rather than considering the needs of their students. It's a very unfortunate situation in my opinion.

Thanks again for your supportive words. They are very, very much appreciated and I'll let Jeffrey know what you wrote.

Fond regards,

Posted by: Sabina Sinclair | Nov 8, 2008 7:41:38 PM

Hi Sabrina,

Mr Sinclair was a good decent teacher and someone I really learned a lot from.

His encouragement of the arts and especially his interest in my love of dance was something that I cherish from my days at Baulko and I hope you can pass onto him that we do not all disown him.

Nicki Bloom/Shackle was an opportunistic little bitch. People in my grade detested her and know what she really is.

Please pass onto Jeff that he was a truly great teacher and I will never forget his influence on my life.



Posted by: Abbi | Apr 12, 2009 7:35:11 PM

i think anyone making a positive comment about jeff sinclair is seriously deluded. taking advantage of a 15 yr old girl is disgusting. sabrina i feel sorry for you that he did this to you. lets face it IT DID HAPPEN! whether or not the girl involved helped instigate the relationship is not the point. jeff should have been a grown man and provided his only duty, that of a teacher. to teach! and a husband to be faithful. well i think we've all learnt a lesson from this one. he now gets compensated from the australian government which is funded by the australian people. so i hope you enjoy your time in france as a lovely twisted couple. and jeff you'll never change. mrs sinclair i hope you have a little bit of doubt in your mind ever time you pass a group of underage girls in the street....... is my husband interested in them. good luck for the future to the both of you. oh one more thing. were you two fifteen when you met. i'd imagine so. was he the older cool guy??

Posted by: dmc | Jan 17, 2010 9:09:30 AM

Oh, your poor husband..... so innocent in it all. Of course it was all the teenage girl's fault - your husband shouldn't be expected to control himself at all!

Posted by: Lotti Mae Sellers | Jan 17, 2010 10:41:15 AM

Sex with a child is ALWAYS wrong.
Even if she had stripped naked and begged him, as an adult, he should have said 'Absolutely not ever. Go put your clothes on child'
That way he would be honouring his marital vows and protecting his children.

Posted by: Dial | Jan 17, 2010 7:31:26 PM

Good god Sabina is a truly deluded woman. I think this stressful situation has seriously turned her brain. Shes a woman scorned for a beautiful, younger woman and that has got to hurt. Much easier for her to blame the child rather than her husband who had tired of her and wanted someone young. So with her bruised ego in tow she spoke to Womans Day. How tacky. And now a 'tell all book'... even tackier! Sabina, you need help, serious help.

Posted by: Jade | Jan 17, 2010 9:49:00 PM

The partner always blames the 'other woman/man' time and time again. Sabina: Wise up it takes two to tango, your 'husband'is not innocent and may I point out to you he was the one breaking the law. No matter how much you feel he was the victim. In the eyes of the law your husband is the one at fault. You should really grow up, Please.

Posted by: skye | Jan 22, 2010 12:47:06 PM

Sabina, I'd just like to say that I think it's really disgusting that you're releasing a 'tell all' book about this whole affair. Nicki is not the only one to blame in this - I'm sure she contributed but the mindset of a fifteen year old girl is hardly as sophisticated as that of a middle aged man. Your husband is ultimately the one at fault, it doesn't matter if she "seduced" him - he should not have acted or even allowed it to get anywhere near that far.

I don't think you understand that there are people other than Nicki who will be hurt by this being brought into the spotlight again. And what do you gain? The world understanding that your husband is a "good man"? Maybe he was a good teacher, but in the end no one in their right mind will think he is entirely innocent as you may like to believe. All it does is continue the hurt and embarrass yourself for your misled devotion.

She was fifteen. Let it go.

Posted by: Lucy | Jan 30, 2010 1:51:16 PM

The writings of Sabine Sinclair on this page deeply disturb me. A child can never be blamed for their part in a sexual affair with an adult.

Whether or not Mr Sinclair was a good teacher is completely and utterly irrelevant. Nicki may or may not be a nice person, that is not relevant to this discussion.
The fact is she was a child who was taken advantage of by an adult in a position of authority, power and trust.

The claims that Mr Sinclair did not begin a sexual relationship with Nicki until she was 16 are laughable and ludicrous at best, and certainly do not do Mr Sinclair's credibility any favours.

I was a student at Baulkham Hills at the time and we all knew what was going on long before it was in the media.

It sickens me to think that Mr Sinclair is still being paid and that his wife may soon profit from this affair through her "tell all book".

Posted by: former Baulko student | Jun 24, 2010 10:27:29 PM

A relationship with emotional and physical closeness, that may involve sexuality or may come close to sexual expression, when desired.There is no aspiration to long-term commitment and no expectation of exclusivity.


Posted by: do pheromones work | Jan 11, 2011 12:21:44 PM

Reads like a tragic Shakespearean tale of love, betrayal and revenge.
As with most real life dramas, there are often no simplistic explanations as to how these situations arise and develop - regardless of the many pleas for reason and rationality. Give up the victim line and take responsibility for what happened - you all played a part, regardless of the outcome.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 28, 2011 4:44:19 PM

Reads like a tragic Shakespearean tale of love, betrayal and revenge.
As with most real life dramas, there are often no simplistic explanations as to how these situations arise and develop - regardless of the many pleas for reason and rationality. Give up the victim line and take responsibility for what happened - you all played a part, regardless of the outcome.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 28, 2011 4:44:19 PM